Young food and beverage consultants – a developing dream?

Professor David Russell, Chairman of The Russell Partnership in partnership with Charlotte Harbour

After reading the article “Young food and beverage consultants – a now impossible dream?” Featured in EP Insights, The Russell Partnership would like to deliver an encouraging response that we hope highlights the ways in which we can, and are, supporting the development and creation of young food and beverage consultants.

By sharing positive information on this subject via a positive response, we hope to inspire others to share their stories on how consultancies throughout the UK are energising the next generation of food and beverage consultants through positive initiatives and personal development support. 

So, without further ado – what have we been up to over the past year?

It is currently February 2018, and here at the Russell Partnership, 50% of our core team is made up of employees under the age of 35 – with our innovations team being led and supported by a team made up of under 25’s.

We have recently welcomed our latest Apprentice, Beth, who has just celebrated her 19th Birthday, and is currently supporting the innovations team as part of her Level 2 Business and Administration Apprenticeship with a local college. We are actively teaching entry level skills such as office administration alongside advanced skills such as strategic framework tools and psychographic profiling, which we hope will aid Beth throughout her career.

In 2012, we welcomed Charlotte, who at the age of 18 began as Research and Project Administrator. After six years, Charlotte has been mentored by the strategic team within The Russell Partnership and has undertaken numerous qualifications such as Adobe InDesign certification, Chartered Institute of Marketing Level 4 Diploma and is a Nutritional Therapy degree at the University of West London. Charlotte is now leading the Innovations Team and providing direct strategic support to the Lead Consultants throughout the Partnership. Our Innovations Team are responsible for strategic support, design, social media management, marketing, psychographic profiling and nutrition.

In 2011, our now Operations Director at Russell Partnership Technology, Peter, joined the Partnership team at 26 years old after completing his degree and being part of a local hotels operational night team. Through mentoring with the leadership and strategic team within The Russell Partnership, Peter now independently delivers training courses and speeches around the world.

In 2016, our business researcher Chris joined the team at age 26 to support the Partnership through research analysis, assurance management and design coordination – all adding value and driving future commercial sustainability.

“We actively set aside 10% of our margin to dedicate to employee education, with the intention of providing opportunities to become young food and beverage consultants.”

We believe that providing opportunities to both existing and new employees drives morale, innovative thinking and positive strategic outcomes for our clients. At present, we have provided sponsorships for part-time university degrees within Nutrition, Adobe courses, Microsoft courses, ICS Learn A Levels, Chartered Institute of Marketing diplomas and College Apprenticeships. We actively set aside 10% of our margin to dedicate to employee education, with the intention of providing opportunities to become young food and beverage consultants – if that is the route they choose to pursue.

Here at The Russell Partnership, our first focus is the personal development and empowerment of our team. We fully appreciate that their expertise, proficiency and job-satisfaction is reflected in the strategies we deliver to our clients. So, we hope that by sharing this story, we are delivering the message that young food and beverage consultants are being supported and developed within the industry through direct mentoring and support by established food and beverage consultants.